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Blind dissident Chen says nephew's conviction is China's 'retribution for his escape'

Beijing, Sun, 02 Dec 2012 ANI

Beijing, Dec. 2 (ANI): Blind Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng has said that the conviction of his nephew in China was retribution to his escape from house arrest and move to the United States.

The People's Court of Yinan County in Shandong Province on Friday convicted Chen Kegui of 'intentional infliction of injury' during a clash with local officials in his home, his father Chen Guangfu said.

According to CNN, the nephew was sentenced to more than three years in prison.

He was arrested in early May in Linyi, a city in Shandong where much of the family lives, shortly after Guangcheng escaped more than 18 months of heavily guarded house arrest and fled to Beijing, the report said.

The family has maintained that Chen Kegui injured a few officials with a kitchen knife in self-defense, when they broke into his house in the middle of the night and attacked his family.

Chen Guangfu said that 'the verdict was unfair' and that he felt 'really disappointed' about it.

"Kegui was just defending himself," his father said, adding: "And it was them breaking into our house and started beating us and trying to take us away."

Chen Guangcheng, in an interview with CNN's Richard Roth in New York, said authorities in China want to perpetuate fear.

"With regard to Chen Kegui, the way that they have handled his case ... in fact this is just the continuation of my own case," the activist said.

"With this sentence, Chen Kegui is being made a scapegoat for my situation. Because before this, they tried many times to provoke me, but I didn't fall for their trick," he added.

According to the report, Chen Guangcheng said that authorities in China promised to guarantee the safety of his family and to open an investigation into 'the harms my family and I suffered through illegal treatment for years in Shandong'.

His arrival in the United States on May 19, along with his wife and children, brought an end to a diplomatic firestorm between Beijing and Washington that erupted after he fled from house arrest in Linyi in late April and hid inside the U.S. Embassy in Beijing for a week, the report added. (ANI)

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